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Hayward's slam, Hernandez's 3-run shot highlight 7-run ninth as Dodgers beat Rockies 11-9

DENVER (AP) — Jason Heyward hit a pinch-hit grand slam and Teoscar Hernandez added a three-run homer — all in a seven-run ninth inning — as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a wild 11-9 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

“It was quality of at-bat up and down the lineup,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "Jason was ready when called upon. Teo, he keeps coming up with big hits. That inning, certainly, the results showed the fight, the compete."

Heyward’s fourth career grand slam came off Tyler Kinley and followed walks by Andy Pages and Miguel Vargas around a single by Miguel Rojas. Heyward's fourth homer of the season hit the right field foul pole and pulled the Dodgers within 9-8 with one out in the inning after they trailed 7-2 after four.

“I wasn't sure if it was going to stay fair or not,” said Heyward, who hit an inside slider, “It's Colorado, so maybe that helped it straighten out a little bit. I was like, ‘Come on, squeak in, squeak in.’ I honestly feel like we got rewarded for our process" in the ninth.

Shohei Ohtani, who had a 476-foot homer in the fifth, singled off Victor Vodnik (1-1) before Will Smith struck out looking after attempting to step out of the batter’s box on a 3-2 pitch.

After a wild pitch, Freddie Freeman received an intentional walk, his sixth walk in the last two games, bringing up Hernandez. Hernandez took a half-swing at a 1-2 fastball and first base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled that Hernandez did not commit. Colorado manager Bud Black argued the call and was ejected.

On the next pitch, Hernandez hit his 18th home to make it 11-9.

After Hernandez’s ball cleared the wall, Colorado right field Jake Cave immediately took a few steps toward Barksdale and began yelling. Rockies’ second baseman Alan Trejo stepped between Cave and Barksdale after the inning ended.

“It was close," Hernandez said. “You can call it either way and it will be fine. When Jason hit the grand slam and turning the lineup over to Ohtani, you know something was going to happen. I just wanted to get a good pitch hit to tie the game. I put a little extra and it went over the fence. I knew as soon as I hit. It was great, especially because it put the team ahead.”

Evan Phillips got the only batter he faced, Hunter Goodman, with a runner on second to record his 11th save in as many chances. Cave, the on-deck hitter, was restrained by bench Mike Redmond as he attempted to reach Barksdale after the game ended.

“When I’m running in (before the last of the ninth), he looks me right in the face and goes, ’Cave, it’s not even close,'" Cave said. "Everybody in the world could see it was at least close. And he did swing. It’s a big game, it's one of the best teams in baseball and we’re battling with them.

“That game’s won on that swing, That’s a swing-and-miss, the game’s won, and we beat the Los Angeles Dodgers."

Elehuris Montero and Brenton Doyle homered for the Rockies, who scored four runs in the first and twice led by five runs.

Doyle added three singles for his first career four-hit game, scored twice, and made a diving catch of Ohtani’s line drive to right-center field with runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh inning, preserving an 8-4 lead.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler gave up eight hits and seven runs in four innings. It was the first time the 29-yeaer-old right-hander allowed more than three earned runs since returning to the rotation May 6 after missing the 2023 season because of Tommy John surgery. He struck out two and walked one.

Pages also homered for the Dodgers, who have won four of five and are 73-32 against Colorado since 2018. The Rockies have lost five of six.

Michael Petersen (1-0) worked two innings of relief and struck out two in his major league debut.

“It was crazy,” said Petersen, whose relatives were in attendance. “You can't feel anything. It's like your first date, you are tripping over stuff. But awesome.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder surgery) is scheduled to pitch three innings for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday in his first rehab start of the season. “He’s doing fantastic,” manager Dave Roberts said, adding that Kershaw will follow the natural progression of two or three more rehab starts “and then we’ll see where we are at.”

Rockies: DH/OF Charlie Blackmon (right hamstring tightness) was removed after suffering his injury while running the bases in the first. … LHP Kyle Freeland (elbow strain) gave up two hits and two runs and struck out four in four innings of a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday and appears close to returning. … 2B Brendan Rodgers (hamstring) did normal pregame work Tuesday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday with an eye toward a weekend activation. … OF Sean Bouchard (ankle) led off and was 1 for 3 with two walks as the DH for Albuquerque.

NEXT UP

Dodgers RHP Bobby Miller (1-1, 5.40 ERA) will oppose Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (1-6, 5.71) in the third game of a four-game series. Miller will make his fourth start, his first since April 10, after missing nine weeks with right shoulder inflammation. He won in his only previous appearance at Coors Field, 7-2, on Sept. 26, 2023.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Jack Magruder, The Associated Press